About giving up and my journey of self-discovery

Lately I been having a hard time getting things done. My energy is as low as my motivation to do things. On 2018 I went thru a small procedure to help heal some tears in my left knee. I gathered these injuries thru my years of dancing. To dance it was as to breathe for me, even though in the last years previous to the procedure I wasn’t dancing nearly as much as I would brag about. Dancing was who I was, I was a dancer and I enjoyed very much the expressions on people’s faces when I would reply “I am a professional dancer” to their question “What do you do for a living”

Dance offered me a shortcut for approval, admiration and instant boost in confidence when I would meet new people. Even among my friends, I would often hear “My job is not nearly as exciting as yours” To be a dancer meant I was glamorous, and artist, an unique, it meant I would be around beautiful and exotic people, attend fun parties, and wear gorgeous costumes. It meant I was magical and when I was on stage I was untouchable. Dance passed from being something I truly love to do just because, to something I would use to help me cope with the one fact I wasn’t ready to face: I didn’t like myself.

Don’t get me wrong! I still love dance and I know in my heart I will always love it because I have loved it even before I found it at the age of 10. I love it for no specific reason, even thou I have many to do so, however I have learnt that I don’t need a reason to love, love either exists or it doesn’t, and mine towards dance is undeniable. What I am saying is that at one point that love got forgotten, and so I stopped doing it for the right reasons and begun to do it because I was yearning that acceptance I couldn’t offer to myself. So when the procedure happened and I found myself not being able to even walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, that whole facade came crumbling down to my feet, letting me completely dis-covered, no costume, no make up, no glitter, just me and my humanness. I remember struggling to get into the tub and breaking into tears “Dance did this to me!”

I was wrong and right about that statement, of course being that the procedure was so recent and in consequence making all my emotions so raw, at that moment I couldn’t see that. I had done that to myself, I was the one trying to cover up injuries that needed healing, ignoring for years the pain, physical and emotional, that would subtly stab me in the outer side of my left knee, reminding me of my steps that had gone stray. But I don’t blame myself, instead I hold that old me in compassion, because if it wasn’t because of her today I wouldn’t be where I am in my recovery. Today, I understand why I was right about that statement: Dance did this to me, it made me stop so I can reassess my actions. It left me naked with just me as me, so I could embark on this journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation. Dance was trying to teach me that rhythm has a purpose, and when I lost that rhythm I also lost the purpose. It obligated me to ask some difficult questions: What is the reason why I am doing this?

Today, almost one year after the procedure I do feel better, however my journey hasn’t end. Facing up to my fears about being me without the help of my “stage make up” is something that hasn’t been easy. I am still finding pieces here and there of the old me and sometimes a new me, I try to bring them together as I re-create myself, some days I find myself suddenly filled with uncomfortable emotions, uncertainty about how the future will look, and in my worst days, with an immeasurable desire to give up.

“Everything that I would build would crumble down over and over again. I would try and fail, fall short, be invisible. What I didn’t know is that the broken pieces would accumulate and later they would serve as a huge stepping stone from where I would reach higher than ever. All I had to do is to endure the rough weather, stand still like the mountain, let the storm do it’s thing and to not give up.”

But what does it mean to not give up?

For me, to not give up means to not give into the old behaviors fueled by my negative thought patterns. To get up and do the rituals that would bring me back into rhythm. To give up means to abandon all the things that make me feel happy, good, alive, connected because I believe that there is no hope, that things will not get better. To give up means to I would allow one day, one thought, one or two or five circumstances dictate my whole life.

So, in days where I feel the fatigue from the journey, to not give up means to do the next small step that would help me feel better, even it that means to just take my vitamins. Because I have seen it, once I feel good in my body I begin to have more energy to do the second small step towards clearing my vision, and then the third to action, then the fourth, and the fifth… I just need to not give up.

I write this, first to help myself thru the cognitive process of understanding and internalizing my breakthroughs; and second, because I hold on to the hope that my story may help you to find your own breakthroughs.

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What is one small thing you can do today, right now to help your body feel better and to show yourself you believe good things will come?

The power of Introspection

Ever since I can remember, I was told by my family that I used to cry a lot as a child. I was (still are but I have made progress) very temperamental. As an adult, I can see what they meant by their stories, I do have an explosive personality and tend to be very “sensitive” I feel intensely. I see these traits more strongly in my personal relationships where the interactions are more deeply rooted and so there is a lot of space and time for all of me to show at one point or another. Looking back, I can recall situations where I let the worst of me pour out without even being aware it was happening. This was before I started my journey of self-discovery.

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world” .- Ramana Maharshi

 

I hold this program very close to my heart as it does streams from there, a place within. It has been born from my own personal experiences; understanding myself being the biggest and most powerful one. Because I have seen what my actions can create, I see the power I hold, and this is true for every single human in this planet. Many had said it before, “with great power comes great responsibility” and so it is my responsibility to know myself, to understand my hurts so I can be more kind when I am in pain, and to discover what makes me happy so I can cultivate more of that in my life. I want to do this, because I understand that my actions have the power to create reactions in others. And I am not talking about taking all the guilt for how others choose to react to me, instead I am speaking of a more basic, yet redoubtable idea: To know myself, is to know my power.

AND WHY IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW MYSELF?

Because if you are trying to make changes in your life, you got to know what is the thing or things you have to shift to make the change. One thing is to know you want to lose weight and another one is to know why do you have those extra pounds and can’t seem to shake them off. What is happening inside of you that is making you reach for that snack or keeping you stuck in the sofa? You want to manage emotions in a more helpful way, but you don’t even know what emotions are you having in the first place. Trying to make changes in our life without looking inside is like that store owner that had a business that was not succeeding, so he painted and renew the exterior of the building but had an infestation of rats in the inside that was keeping customers away. You want to change your diet, outlook, life style, etc, but what you may not see is that those changes can only happen in one specific place: Your body.

Your body is the vehicle that helps you experience life, without it you can not hug the lover, walk the path, eat the food, wear the colors or live that moment you been waiting for. Once the body dies, the physical life experience is over. So it is in the body, that our journey begins. Because it is in your body, along with it’s cells, systems, electrical and chemical networks that the changes will happen. By getting to know your body, you will find out that it is alive and it also speaks a language that, surprisingly, you already know, you just have to “Listen to it”. Once you know you will be better able to act, and when you act from a better place the reactions that you will create will also be better. This is a strong and authentic foundation from where to move forward, because it is based on who you truly are not who you think you should be, and it’s authenticity gives hope for the fruits of your work to be harvest.

You can make a difference in the world. You can change someone’s day or even life; but chances are that if you are not feeling well, are in pain, hurting or burnt out you are not going to have the energy to do any of those things.

Learning how to listen to your body is the first step towards cultivating things that makes you feel good. Now, understand that any goal you have in mind will inevitably affect others. If you learn those tools to better manage stress others will dance under the peace you will radiate. If you want to lose weight and feel more confident, others may find the inspiration to do the same for themselves. But let me be clear, you are making changes for you, not for others. You can not change the way people see you, feel about you, you can not change the politician’s opinions, You can not change the tragedies that happen around the world, but You sure can change yourself and remember, that has a lot of power. Because one small positive action can shift one person’s day and outlook, and when people feel good, they do good. So you change for yourself and everyone benefits. This is an idea that I see in my own journey, after understanding myself I was better able to offer compassion to those parts of me that where in pain or suffering, and this moment of grace gave me space to choose how to act out in the world. I learnt (and I am still learning) to communicate better when I wasn’t feeling my best, instead of letting the emotions or feelings explode and taking down with me whoever was near.

To know myself is to understand myself, and when I understand myself I can act from an authentic place. Authenticity is attractive, we all desire it, when we see it we get inspired and begin to wonder if we could do the same. But I can’t be authentic I don’t know myself, so you see when you better yourself you are actually helping many others to better themselves without you having to say anything to them. It is from this place where the idea “Be You” stands strong.

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What gift, talent or idea is hidden in you waiting to be shared?